Under-23 national team coach Beston Chambeshi has described the Africa Cup of Nations draw as tough.
Zambia has been drawn in group A against defending champions Nigeria, Ivory Coast and South Africa.
Chambeshi said after the draws that all teams in the group are tough.
“It is a tough draw but we expected it. All that needs to be done now is to ensure we adequately prepare for the tournament,” Chambeshi said.
Most of the players in Chambeshi’s team were part of the 2016 Africa Cup winning team, including the Redbull Salzburg duo of Patson Daka and Enock Mwepu, who played against English giants Liverpool in a UEFA Champions League match in England on Wednesday night.
The top three teams at the tournament will qualify to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
And Ivory Coast coach Soualiho Haidara told Cafonline after the draws that his side will not underrate any team.
“Over 40 teams participated in the qualifiers, and now we have only eight for the final tournament. It means that these teams deserve to be here. We cannot underestimate any team. It looks like an easy draw but it’s not. There are some teams developing and doing great efforts every day and are improving to reach the top level. We shouldn’t be surprised by the performance of such teams. Overall, we are very excited to be part of this important tournament,” said Haidara.